Hmmm, so it's been awhile since my blog actually made it to print. Not to say that I have not been blogging, it has just all stayed in my head :-) It's funny, one of my earliest realizations in triathlon was why triathletes blog. Imagine being in a pool, face down staring at a black line for 1- 1.5hrs, three times a week; or pedaling down the road, usually with your closest friends for 7hrs on a Saturday & only being able to talk to them for 15min at a rest stop... My point is you have A LOT of time to yourself & many highly intellectual conversations (or, not) with... Yourself! ;-)
Although the bulk of my training is done alone, none of it could be done without the help from my Iron-Crew: Allen, Iron-Dad! When "we" decided that I was all-in for IMTX, without skipping a beat he said "I will be Iron-Dad!" Not that he already wasn't Iron-Dad, but we both knew it meant stepping in with the girls a lot more while I was training. The love, support & encouragement that I have received has blown my mind! I can't help but to feel extremely lucky, especially because we all know IM training can cause a huge strain on relationships, but I feel it has brought us closer and made us a stronger "team". He always encourages to stay positive & Chi <3
My girls, Aleina & Ailani! Thoughts of them have pulled me through many tough training days! As a Mom, you have to stay on top of things: ballet, TOTS, Gigglebytes days at school; gymnastics & swimming after school; picture day coming up, outfits to wear; birthdays & getting gifts... You get it! Well, during training I often find myself making lists or organizing tasks in my head and most of them relate to my girls. And that makes me smile. Sometimes if I'm lucky, it can pull me out of that dark place that the pain is trying to pull me towards. Again, I feel very fortunate to have the support of my girls, even though they may not understand what Mommy is doing right now. They've rarely said to me, No, don't go do... swim, bike, or run! I am usually sent off with a huggie/ kissie (and so are my friends :-) ) and encouraged to ride or run FAST!
My Iron-Whiners! Collectively the Iron-Whiners consist of: Kris, Linda, Shelly, Orissa, Brian, Herbito, Alphanso, and anyone else that has ever trained with us and whined! And although we rarely hear her whine, our Coachie Dawn is an honorary member! I couldn't imagine IM training without a single one of them! I've learned so much from each and everyone of them: basic bike care :-), proper hydration & nutrition, we've brushed up our swim in Master's together at ridiculous times in the morning, we've suffered through cold, rain, wind, and snow (ok, lie. I live in SA!) & have actually encouraged each other to continue! The friendships I have made along this journey are worth a million times more than the finish line!
Of course my family has been amazing too! My parents and in-laws have been tremendously supportive in encouraging my journey and helping out with the girls! It is a huge stress relief to know that while I am out riding 100miles or whatever, my girls are spending time with their grandparents and having a wonderful time! I remember time spent with my grandparents as a child and I know they are receiving the same love!
And of course the list goes on: our amazing babysitter, Kelly, whom the girls love! My colleagues for helping out with call or coverage at the hospital. The Rehab staff for being understanding when they can't hear me on the phone because I'm running or biking (I know, not safe & I try NOT to do that!) or just got out of the pool. Etc...
My point is, that although IM is a personal journey... It takes a village! And I am blessed to have an amazing Iron-Village!!! :-)